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Separative allows the chemistry industries to explore new innovation fields and value creation, while reducing the carbon footprint by 50%, thanks to a disruptive purification solution. www.separative.net
Solaize, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France
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SEPARATIVE, an innovative start-up and creator of high-performance multicapillary chromatography (HPMC) columns for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries has been awarded 7.4 million euros of mixed funding by the EIC Accelerator Pilot. The success rate for this call of proposals, that is dedicated to innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with high growth potential, was 0.9%.
Based in Solaize, south of Lyon, France, on the Axel’One Innovative Processes Platform, SEPARATIVE is revolutionizing molecule separation thanks to its disruptive chromatography columns with unparalleled resolution at low pressure.
“This award from the prestigious EIC Accelerator Pilot is a recognition of the major impact that our breakthrough innovation will have on key European strategic applications in green chemistry and health. SEPARATIVE has been supported since its creation by the French State, BPI France, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and the technology transfer acceleration company PULSALYS, through various grants and awards for innovation, but this European funding marks a key milestone in marketing our innovative technology. We will be able to strengthen our teams, finalize industrialization and offer our first product range to pharmaceutical research laboratories.”
Cyril Burkovic, SEPARATIVE’s COO
SEPARATIVE’s award-winning innovation* makes it possible to reduce the pressure required in state-of-the-art chromatography by a factor of 30, making purification processes 10 times faster and more efficient, at a much lower cost than current technologies. Chemists and process engineers will have at their disposal a new economical, energy efficient and highly productive separation tool that will allow all kinds of mixtures to be separated using the full range of known chemical reactions, instead of just relying on heat.
The expected performances represent a huge potential for innovation and value creation for the pharmaceutical industries and wherever the separation of molecules is required. This technology will allow new drugs to be marketed faster and cheaper, which have been impossible to develop until now, and will lead to more powerful medical analysis tools for the early detection of disease.
“This innovation also opens the way to new means of energy storage and should accelerate research in “green” chemistry leading to new, more economical biomaterials and biofuels. Up to 10% savings in global CO2 emissions can be achieved by replacing separation methods based on distillation with more heat energy efficient techniques such as the SEPARATIVE technology.”
François Parmentier, SEPARATIVE’s CEO and inventor of the chromatography columns
Supported by the consultancy agency ZAZ Ventures, SEPARATIVE is one of 38 SMEs selected by the 11 EIC jurors in October 2020, out of 4,223 applications. The winners share a budget of more than 176 million euros.
* SEPARATIVE’s technical innovation consists in casting a bundle of parallel, straight and cylindrical capillaries a few microns in diameter in a semi-porous block of silica allowing transverse diffusion of the molecules.
Press Contact – Agence Amalthea
Coradine Sersiron I presse@SEPARATIVE.net I +33 (0)4 26 78 27 18
About the EIC Accelerator Pilot
The EIC Accelerator Pilot is a European public funding scheme for innovative start-ups and SMEs. It finances projects for the launch of breakthrough market-creating innovations with high-growth potential, from the R&D phase through to their marketing. The EIC Accelerator Pilot is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, the objective of which is to fund research and innovation. Since December 2019, 293 start-ups and SMEs from 18 countries have been selected for funding totaling more than 1 billion euros.
SEPARATIVE is a start-up based in Solaize, central France, founded in 2014. In 2016, it was one of the award winners of the French Ministry of Research’s i-LAB competition which placed it in the top 10 start-ups in France for its innovative project. In 2019, the American company Agilent Technologies acquired a stake in SEPARATIVE. The same year, the start-up won the national I-NOV competition to industrialize its process. With five patents registered, all possible aspects of this technology from the chromatography process and its optimization to products and materials have been protected by SEPARATIVE.
Professor Fabrice Gritti, principal consulting scientist for Waters Corporation, the leading U.S. chromatography company, and Professors Dzmitry Hlushkou and Ulrich Tallarek, from the Philips University in Marburg, Germany, have recently published an article in one of the foremost scientific journals in the discipline, the Journal of Chromatography A, that examines the potential of SEPARATIVE’s proprietary universal multicapillary diffusional-bridging (UMDB) columns – called multiple-open-tubular columns enabling transverse diffusion (MOTTD) in the article – as an alternative to the poorly efficient multiple porous-layer open tubular (MPLOT) column technologies currently in use, and presents a model of band broadening along MOTTD columns in order to evaluate their separation time-pressure performance.
Validation of the model by Gritti and colleagues reveals the intrinsic advantage of SEPARATIVE’s UMDB (MOTTD) columns. “Based on the validated HETP [height equivalent to a theoretical plate] model for analyte dispersion in MOTTD columns, the prospective study presented in this work predicts that the speed-resolution characteristics of MOTTD columns … largely outperforms conventional packed … or silica monolithic … columns for the same phase ratio and retention factor.” According to the authors, SEPARATIVE’s technology has the potential to become the universal benchmark for chemical analysis and should lead to “a significant improvement in column technology relative to current particulate and silica monolithic columns”. They conclude by stating that “this work should encourage chemists, material scientists, and experts in the growing field of 3D-printing technologies to prepare such a novel silica monolithic architecture”.
This is precisely what SEPARATIVE’s laboratory team has accomplished. SEPARATIVE’s multicapillary chromatography system, resulting from six years of research and development by the French startup and protected by five international patents, involves covering microfilaments with a monolayer of spherical silica gel microbeads (20-45 µm). On being heated in a furnace, the microfilaments evaporate leaving a 200-micron hexagonal compact array of perfectly round and calibrated flow-through open channels embedded in a mesoporous stationary monolith. The research behind this technology was presented by SEPARATIVE’s CEO François Parmentier at the 17th International Symposium on Preparative and Industrial Chromatography and Allied Techniques (SPICA) in 2018.
Separation chromatography technologies are used in all fields of chemistry, from petroleum to pharmacy, and from cosmetics and to food, and have been the source of the greatest innovations in modern-day chemistry. SEPARATIVE’s revolutionary technology is expected to increase the performance of existing chromatography devices tenfold. Furthermore, the increase in accuracy and speed that the system brings to analytical operations will make it possible to detect all kinds of molecules at a lower cost, such as pollutants and pesticides, which promises to open new horizons in the biosciences and carbon-free energy sectors.
Once on the market, the SEPARATIVE chromatography technology will represent a real paradigm shift and open up a new era of innovative “green” chemical products.
For a more detailed summary of this publication, please click here.
 Francois PARMENTIER, OC09 – Improvement of Multicapillary Packing Efficiency by Diffusional Bridging: A Theoretical and Dynamic Simulation Study, SPICA 2018, Darmstadt, Germany, October 7-10, 2018.
About SEPARATIVE :
French innovative start-up based in the Axel’One Plateform, SEPARATIVE was incorporated in 2014. It develops preparative HPLC columns usable with low pressure and targets the global purification market in the pharmaceutical industry, which weights over 3 B€ a year.
Supported by Bpifrance and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region through several innovation aids, the start-up has been awarded at many innovation challenges such as Emergence (2014), I-Lab (2016), H2020 SME Instrument Phase 1 (2018) and I-Nov (2019).
The technology can be applied to all types of chromatography. Therefore, SEPARATIVE is looking for partners to co-develop several product ranges.
More information : https://separative.net/
SEPARATIVE, a company hosted on the Axel'One innovative Processes Platform in Solaize, was selected for phase 1 of the Instrument PME call for projects. SEPARATIVE is supported by the European Commission for 5 months since May 2018.
Created in 2014, SEPARATIVE develops a new molecular separation technology based on a ground-breaking multicapillary material. This new material breaks with the state-of-the-art chromatography. It was inhibited for decades by the operating pressure inerrant to current technologies. SEPARATIVE multicapillary chromatography columns operate at a pressure 10 to 30 times lower than current columns.
The potential for value creation is four types:
SEPARATIVE initially targets the healthcare market and develops HPLC columns that can be used on Flash equipment. The technology can be applied to all types of chromatography and SEPARATIVE is looking for partners to co-develop the product ranges.
By accessing phase 1 of the SME Instrument program, SEPARATIVE must meet a double challenge: finalize the industrialization of prototype production and position itself in the value chain of laboratory equipment manufacturers through the development of partnerships. The aim is to be able to produce daily around ten preparative prototypes and to start selling to manufacturers.
For more information:
About the SME Instrument program: https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/sme-instrument